National Centre for Early Music

[Skip navigation]
Navigation Menu
Events Calendar
View full calendar

Trio Da Kali
The New Generation of Griot Soul

NCEM, York
Thursday 5 March (2015) 7:30pm

Adults £13.00 | Concessions £11.00 | Students £5.00





The three musicians of Trio Da Kali hail from the Mande culture of Mali, from a heritage of distinguished griots, the caste of specialist hereditary musical artisans. Aiming to showcase neglected repertoires and performance styles of the griots, they bring a fresh, contemporary, creative twist to their musical art, breathing new life back into this ancient tradition. Their performances offer a rare glimpse into the soul of the art of the griot, celebrating the African continent's finest, most subtle and sublime music.

The trio's performance that revolves around the soaring, rounded vibrato voice of Hawa Kassé Mady (daughter of legendary singer Kasse Mady Diabaté), performing the songs she grew up with in Kela, one of the most musical centres of the griot world. There are also dazzling solo balafon pieces by the group's leader Lassana Diabaté on the 22-key balafon. Few can match his lyricism and virtuosity, and the resonant sound of the rosewood keys of his balafon. Mamadou Kouyaté (son of ngoni maestro Bassekou Kouyate) underpins the music with punchy bass lines on a large ngoni, West Africa's oldest string instrument.

Auspiciously, the trio's first international appearance was at the BBC Proms in summer 2013; they have since gone on to collaborate with the celebrated Kronos Quartet, and were most recently seen with Toumani Diabate at last year's London Jazz Festival.